Ohio Attorney Suspended for Lack of Cooperation

An attorney in Ohio whose license has been suspended since 2013 was reminded just how important it is to cooperate with disciplinary authorities while facing his third disciplinary hearing in three years.  Despite being cleared by the Ohio Supreme Court on the underlying charges, which involved the Board of Professional Conduct’s finding of the mishandling of a criminal case and related fraudulent statements to the court, the attorney nonetheless was sanctioned for his failure to cooperate.

The attorney’s failure to cooperate with the Board’s investigation was evidenced by the attorney’s failure to promptly respond to three letters of inquiry. He replied to the first letter several weeks after the stipulated reply date, and did not reply to the subsequent letters. The attorney defended his failure to reply to the subsequent letters by claiming that the questions in the subsequent letters were not relevant to the rule cited in the first letter. He also argued that he was given insufficient time to respond. The Court rejected the arguments after the attorney admitted he was aware of his duty to cooperate with the Board.

The attorney received a six-month suspension and was taxed with costs.

Read the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Slip Opinion here, and the Board’s Overview here.

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